Some moons ago, I wrote a piece sharing 20 reasons why you should lug your kids on holidays. Today I thought it’s time to do a piece on reasons why you should do the opposite.
The hubs and I just came back from a trip to Phuket and I must say it’s made quite the difference in the way we treat each other and communicate. So yes…this post is inspired by that.
Here goes. :)
1. To reconnect
It’s easy to lose touch with your spouse amidst the stresses and busyness of daily life. Work demands, kid demands, and so on can really drain the energy and quality of the marriage relationship. Taking time to intentionally draw close to each other – emotionally, mentally and physically – is really necessary in today’s context. The trick is to leave the phone behind or forget about asking for the password to the hotel’s free wifi; instead take the time to just focus on each other.
2. To remember you are first husband and wife, then parents
When the kids came along, I recall being so caught up in the demands of child-rearing and devouring all the parenting books with a vengeance. Now that they are a tad older, and we can breathe a little, go on date nights every fortnight, etc etc, I find myself seeking out more marriage-related books and wanting to invest more energy into building my marriage.
I think it’s a normal process that we go through when kids enter the picture. Their needs are pressing and their voices are loud. But we also need to remember that marriage came first, then kids.
3. To have the conversations you’ve been meaning to have
There are times I’ve shelved a discussion I’ve been meaning to have just because of lack of time or mental energy to deal with it.
But sometimes the conversation is important enough for you to plan ahead and to get it off your chest. For instance, if there is a family issue that’s been bothering you, and you don’t know how to resolve it.
When you’re relaxed and rested during a holiday, it might just be the best time to deal with it head on, in partnership with your spouse.
4. To enjoy each other
When was the last time you had fun with your spouse? When you could laugh at each other, and just do wacky, silly things together? A holiday provides you with ample opportunities to go on exciting mini-journeys and day trips, and seize the day and do (or learn) something new with your mate.
Of course, physical intimacy is an important part of the whole package. For a couple of days you get to be like crazy honeymooners who are madly in love. Need I say more?
5. To make a baby
Friends will laugh at this one, because they know we’ve officially “closed shop” in the baby department. But lots of people take time off to “make babies” and let’s admit it it always sounds glamourous to say, “Oh this baby was made in Bali / Koh Samui / Tokyo.”
6. To forgive and heal from past hurts
An idyllic resort getaway provides an ideal setting for married couples to work through a rough patch, to hone their communication, and to seek restoration of friendship, love and trust. It’s no wonder that lots of churches organise marriage retreat programmes to help their members work through and resolve marital problems.
You don’t have to wait for a big issue to arise before retreat-ing as a couple. Taking time off regularly helps build a healthy loving relationship, and that should put you in a better place to deal with life’s hurdles as they come.
7. To envision a better future
What are our goals as a family? What steps do we need to take to align everyone to these goals? Which activities do we take on, and which do we say no to?
Most families these days have to deal with very hectic routines and schedules. We all become great do-ers and runners, but it’s easy to lose sight of the big picture.
Time is a precious resource, and we want to invest it on things that matter. In order to know what matters, and what doesn’t, it’s essential to take a step back to evaluate your purpose and goals, and to plan concrete steps on how to achieve that ideal life for your family.
8. To recharge for the journey ahead
Parenting is a life journey – people say it gets easier but I think the truth is, there will always be challenges; they just change from stage to stage.
One thing is for sure. That we’re all in it for the long haul. And every seasoned sojourner will tell you how important it is to rest and take pit stops at regular points, in order to finish the race well.
What do you love most about going on holidays sans kids? I’d love to hear your views!